The 50 Best Dodge Models of All Time (No. 40 – 31)

The 50 Best Dodge Models of All Time (No. 40 – 31) 21 photos
Photo: Dodge
2007 Dodge Avenger R/T AWD2007 Dodge Avenger R/T AWD1945 Dodge WC Series1945 Dodge WC Series1966 Dodge D/Dart Super Stock1966 Dodge D/Dart Super Stock1974 Dodge Ramcharger1974 Dodge Ramcharger2003 Dodge Neon SRT-42003 Dodge Neon SRT-41964 Dodge D-100 Street Wedge1964 Dodge D-100 Street Wedge2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak1978 Dodge Li'l Red Express1978 Dodge Li'l Red Express2006 Dodge Magnum SRT-82006 Dodge Magnum SRT-82007 Dodge Charger Daytona2007 Dodge Charger Daytona
Founded in 1900 as the Dodge Brothers Company, Dodge became a Chrysler division in 1928. Initially designated as a mid-priced brand above Plymouth, Dodge became a big player in the muscle car market in the 1960s.
The company is also famous for its long-running line of D-Series trucks (which eventually led to the creation of the Ram division) and is credited with having kickstarted the minivan craze with the Caravan in the 1980s. It also gave us the 426-cubic-inch HEMI, one of the greatest V8 engines of all time. At the same time, its modern Dodge Challenger spawned the most powerful factory muscle car in history.

But these are only a handful of outstanding products that came from Dodge's assembly line. To celebrate one of Detroit's most significant automakers, we made a list of the 50 best Dodge models of all time. Having already discussed numbers 50 to 41, here are numbers 40 to 31.

40. 2007 Avenger R/T AWD

2007 Dodge Avenger R/T AWD
Photo: Dodge
Initially built as a two-door sports compact from 1994 to 2000, the Dodge Avenger returned in 2007 as a four-door midsize sedan. Designed to fill a gap left by the Neon's demise in 2005, the Avenger utilized the Mitsubishi GS platform. As a result, it came with a pair of four-cylinder mills developed in cooperation with the Japanese company.

But Dodge also offered the Avenger with a range of V6 engines, including the now-iconic Pentastar. And as with most modern Dodge models, the brand didn't miss the opportunity to offer a higher-performance model. But in addition to the front-wheel-driven R/T, Dodge also offered an all-wheel-drive version with the same badge and a high-output V6 under the hood.

Rated at 235 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque and spinning all four wheels through a six-speed automatic, the 3.5-liter mill propelled the Avenger from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 7.2 seconds. It wasn't quite as quick as the Charger, but it had a similar stand and offered solid performance in its segment.

39. 1940 WC-Series

1945 Dodge WC Series
Photo: Dodge
The only military vehicle on this list, the WC-Series, was produced by Dodge and Fargo from 1940 to 1945. Together with the 1/4-ton jeeps provided by Willys and Ford, the 1/2-, 3/4 ton Dodge haulers made up nearly all the light-duty trucks supplied to the US military during WWII. In addition to the light 4WD trucks, the WC lineup also included medium-duty 6WD vehicles.

The WC-Series was built in various versions with payload ratings ranging from 1/2 to 1 and a half tons and is now regarded as one of WWII's unsung heroes. Many vehicles that survived the conflict were then used in the Korean War. In all, Dodge and Fargo built more than 350,000 units until 1945.

After World War II, Dodge developed the 3/4-ton WC-series into the civilian Power Wagon. The latter remained in production until 1980, but the name is still used on modern heavy-duty versions of the Ram pickup truck.

38. 1966 D/Dart Super Stock

1966 Dodge D/Dart Super Stock
Photo: Mecum Auctions
A few years before road-legal muscle cars became a thing, Detroit carmakers engaged in a quarter-mile war that gave us the coolest factory-built dragsters. It started in the early 1960s with full-size cars and continued with midsize rigs toward the decade's end. While most carmakers ignored compact vehicles for this type of thing, Dodge built a few beefed-up versions of the Dart.

The 1968 HEMI Dart LO23 is arguably the most iconic, but it wasn't the only compact dragster that left the factory. Two years before the LO23 shocked the drag-racing scene, Dodge built the D/Dart. Based on the rather mundane third-generation compact, the D/Dart relied on a beefed-up 273-cubic-inch (4.5-liter) V8 rated at 275 horsepower, 40 horses more than the regular production model.

Granted, it was nowhere near as wild as the Dart LO23 output-wise, but it was light enough to cover the quarter-mile in less than 14.5 seconds. It's also the only Super Stock vehicle Chrysler made in 1966, and it's rare at only 50 examples built.

37. 1974 Ramcharger

1974 Dodge Ramcharger
Photo: Dodge
Introduced in 1974, the Ramcharger arrived late to the full-size SUV party. Chevrolet released the K5 Blazer in 1969, while the International Harvester Scout grew larger in 1971. But it beat the full-size Bronco by three years and became a long-running icon.

Initially based on a shortened-wheelbase version of the Dodge D-Series pickup truck, it became available with all of Dodge's famous V8 engines from the era, including the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) big-block RB. Rugged and reliable, the Ramcharger was quite the spartan SUV in its first years on the market.

Dodge did not offer passenger seats as standard until 1976, while the fabric top remained a dealer-installed option for a few years as well. While not quite as iconic as the Bronco, the Ramcharger is among the most requested nameplates for a modern revival.

36. 2003 Neon SRT-4

2003 Dodge Neon SRT\-4
Photo: Dodge
Chrysler's SRT division is primarily famous for high-performance cars powered by V8 and V10 engines, but it also developed a beefed-up four-cylinder car. I'm talking about the Neon SRT-4, a short-lived sports compact that Dodge sold from 2003 to 2005.

Aimed at the younger generation and tuner car fans, the SRT-4 was previewed as a concept car powered by a supercharger inline-four rated at 208 horsepower. The production version, however, arrived in 2003 with a turbocharged variant good for 215 horses. In 2004, larger fuel injectors and a recalibrated ECU increased output to 230 horsepower. Tipping the scales at only 2,900 pounds (1,315 kg), the latter needed only 5.3 seconds to charge from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph).

The SRT-4 was sent into the history books with a Viper-inspired ACR version and a Commemorative Edition, both fitted with goodies that enhanced performance and visuals.

35. 1964 D-100 Street Wedge

1964 Dodge D\-100 Street Wedge
Photo: Dodge
While the Ramcharger arrived too late to benefit from the high-performance engines of the golden muscle car era, the D-Series pickup truck spawned a beefed-up hauler. It wasn't lucky enough to get the mighty 426 HEMI, but Dodge dropped its predecessor, the Wedge V8, into the truck.

Already available in a wide variety of Dodge and Plymouth cars at the time, the 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter) Wedge found its way into the D-series in 1963. It was part of the High-Performance optional package, available on both the base truck and the Custom Sports Special. After building a few examples with the 413, Dodge switched to the updated 426 Street Wedge.

Rated at 365 horsepower and 470 pound-feet (637 Nm) of torque, it wasn't as potent as the 426 HEMI, but it delivered just enough oomph to make the D-Series the most powerful truck in showrooms at the time of its introduction. America's first muscle truck, the D-100 Street Wedge, is also a rare gem at only around 50 units built.

34. 2009 Challenger Drag Pak

2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
Photo: Mecum Auctions
Revived for the 2009 model year, the Dodge Challenger spawned a long list of special-edition vehicles that paid tribute to iconic Mopars from the past. The Drag Pak was one of them. And unlike its other siblings, which were street-legal, the Drag Pack was a purpose-built, track-prepped weapon.

Ready to hit the strip as soon as it left the factory, the race-spec Challenger came with a modified version of the SRT-8's 6.1-liter HEMI V8. The upgrades pushed output beyond the 500-horsepower mark, a notable increase over the regular muscle car. It was also around 1,000 pounds (454 kg) lighter than the street-spec Challenger.

Dodge built about 100 cars, so the Drag Pak is also one of the rarest third-generation Dodge Challengers. Although it's been outgunned by the newer Demon, the Drag Pak remains the company's first notable effort in a turnkey drag racing niche dominated by the Chevrolet COPO Camaro and Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

33. 1978 Li'l Red Express

1978 Dodge Li'l Red Express
Photo: Dodge
As the D-Series approached the end of its pre-facelift life cycle in the late 1970s, Dodge went wild with all sorts of limited-edition versions. The lineup included the Warlock, the Macho Power Wagon, and the Adventurer, all fitted with unique features inside and out. But none of them were as wild as the Li'l Red Express.

Painted a bright red livery with gold accents and equipped with custom wheels and stacked exhaust pipes, the truck screamed "look at me!" from just about every angle. But it was more than just flashy visuals and big exhaust pipes. The Li'l Red Express also rocked a 360-cubic-inch (5.9-liter) V8 that generated 225 horsepower.

Yes, it might not sound like a lot today, but it was 1978, and muscle cars were a thing of the past due to strict emission and fuel economy regulations. Because trucks were exempt from the rules that plague chocked Malaise-era vehicles, the Li'l Red Express was more potent than any muscle car except the Chevrolet Corvette.

32. 2006 Magnum SRT-8

2006 Dodge Magnum SRT\-8
Photo: Dodge
The Magnum came to be in 1978 as a short-lived replacement for the Charger and Dodge's attempt to develop a new base for a competitive NASCAR racer. The nameplate was also used on a Brazilian car from 1979 to 1981 and a Mexican vehicle from 1981 to 1988, but I'm here to talk about the station wagon that Dodge offered from 2004 to 2008.

Built on the Chrysler LX platform, the Magnum was essentially a long-roofed Charger and shared many underpinnings with the four-door sedan. Fortunately, it also got the Charger's SRT-8 treatment, which included, among others, a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 engine good for 425 horsepower.

The mill turned the Magnum into one of the quickest wagons on the market, enabling it to hit 60 mph (97 kph) from a standing start in 5.1 seconds. The quarter-mile run was just as impressive at 13.1 seconds and 108 mph (174 kph). The Magnum was discontinued after only five model years on the market as part of a restructuring plan that also killed off the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Crossfire.

31. 2007 Charger Daytona

2007 Dodge Charger Daytona
Photo: Dodge
Dodge's first tribute to the iconic racer from the late 1960s, the Charger Daytona, was first introduced in 2006. It wasn't more than a Charger R/T performance-wise, but it was loaded with cool features inspired by the company's original "winged warrior."

Fitted with a unique front fascia with a chin spoiler, a black spoiler atop the trunk lid, and black "HEMI" decals, it came in a selection of "high impact" colors that included Go ManGo! and Top Banana. Dodge also offered Sub Lime Green, Plum Crazy Purple, and HEMI Orange.

The Daytona drew juice from the same 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that powered the regular R/T. However, it gained a bit of extra oomph thanks to the Road/Track Performance Group. The mill was rated at 350 horsepower and 390 pound-feet (529 Nm) of torque. While not as spectacular as the SRT-8, the Daytona opened a long list of fantastic models inspired by the golden muscle car era.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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